Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs

New York Times reporter Judith Miller gave her first post-jail interview last night to Lou Dobbs on CNN. Crooks and Liars has the video.

Here's Judy the martyr (from the transcript, available on Lexis.com):

You know, Lou, I knew and I know they wasn't covering for anybody. I was protecting the confidentiality of the source to whom I had given my word. I was keeping my word. And until I knew that that source genuinely wanted me to testify, and I heard that from him, I was willing to sit in jail. I didn't want to be in jail, but I knew that the principle of confidentiality was so important that I had to, because if people can't trust us to come to us to tell us the things that government and powerful corporations don't want us to know, we're dead in the water. The public won't know....That's why I was sitting in jail. For the public's right to know.

Much more credible to me are her statements that a year ago, Fitzgerald wouldn't agree to limit the questions to Libby and the topic of the Valerie Plame leak. The subpoenas directed to her, upheld by the Court, bear her out on this. The Court of Appeals decision (pdf) described them as:

.... on August 12 and August 14, grand jury subpoenas were issued to Judith Miller, seeking documents and testimony related to conversations between her and a specified government official “occurring from on or about July 6, 2003, to on or about July 13, 2003, . . . concerning Valerie Plame Wilson (whether referred to by name or by description as the wife of Ambassador Wilson) or concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium.” Miller refused to comply with the subpoenas and moved to quash them.

They asked not just for her conversations with Libby about Valerie Plame, but about Iraq trying to acquire uranium. By agreeing to limit the questioning to Libby and Plame, and not asking about other sources, she didn't have to tell who else, if anyone, she heard about Plame from. More importantly, she didn't have to answer questions about what she knew about the infamous false 16 words in the State of the Union address referring to Iraq trying to get uranium - and where she got the information.

Miller tells Dobbs she began asking Fitzgerald to limit the scope again in September:

The fact that you were able to constrain, your attorneys and you were able to constrain your testimony before the grand jury narrowly. Was that worth it?

MILLER: It was definitely worth it. I had to have both of those elements before I could, in good conscience, testify. You know, I didn't want to participate in a fishing expedition. And we had asked the special counsel over a year ago, would he narrow his investigation to the source of his interest and the subject of interest? And he wouldn't do it then. When he agreed to do it, when I asked in August, that was it. I knew I'd be able to -- sorry, in September, I knew I'd be able to get out of jail.

Miller then tells Dobbs no one knows what Fitzgerald is working on.

It's interesting to me, nobody has been able to crack the case yet. Nobody knows what he's working on.

I find that a little hard to believe. I would bet Libby and Rove's lawyers know. And how can she not know when she was questioned for four hours? What took four hours if all she was asked about were her two conversations with Libby about Plame?

Some possibilities: Was the June, 2003 state department memo produced by either of them at their July 8 meeting at the St. Regis? If so, that could take up some time. How copious were the notes she provided about her conversations with Libby? That could take some time to go over. A more plausible scenario is that there was lots of leaving the room going on. How many times did she ask to go out in the hall and talk to her lawyer before answering a question? Did that result in conference time between Fitzgerald and her lawyer as to whether a question was within the scope of her agreement? Still, four hours is a long time with such a limited topic range.

It sounds like Miller is rooting for an Indictment of someone:

If he brings indictments, if he has a very serious case, then I might have to say that perhaps his zealousness with respect to this mission was justified. I don't know what Mr. Fitzgerald has. I'm waiting to see like everybody else what he produces. But if he doesn't have anything, I will wonder about why I had to spend 85 days in jail, and why I may be the only one to spend time in jail. But we don't know yet, Lou.

Finally, here's Judy on jail:

It was the most soulless place I've ever been. I think we don't realize how much we take things for granted like color, silence, the right to take two aspirin when you feel you have a headache. It was demeaning. It was degrading. It was very lonely. But it has to be put in perspective. It's not a deadly illness.

It looks like we'll just have to stay on pins and needles till Fitzgerald shows his hand. Reminds me of Tom Petty - the waiting is the hardest part.

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    Re: Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:42 PM EST
    That's why I was sitting in jail. For the public's right to know. Our right to know what? All the stuff you didn't report on, didn't want to be questioned about, and aren't going to tell us? 16 Words--we got any right to know what you know about that Judy? Or what your pal Bolton said to you during his prison visit. Do we have a right to know anything about that? Guess not, huh? Pretty weird attitude for a reporter. That is what she still claims to be, right?

    Re: Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    She seems like a sex addict pretending to be an alcoholic -- because the latter is easier to explain to your husband/wife/colleagues than the "icky" former

    Re: Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    Miller sat in prison protecting Bolton, not Libby. She's a willing accomplice in genocide, and an anti-Arab Jewish racist, who works at the behest of the rightwing disinformation machine. An enemy of democracy, she was finally deported from the United States in 2010, after the Bush Hearings exposed her receipt of two million dollars from Ahmed Chalabi in exchange for her propaganda actions at the former-NYT.

    Re: Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    She seems so utterly dishonest, a consummate actress. The NYT paid for her time off work to write a book ($1.2 mil-Huffpo is all on that), as well as footing an enormous legal bill. Sad that so many subscribers bailed as a result of her Iraq propaganda. Was the June, 2003 state department memo produced by either of them at their July 8 meeting at the St. Regis? Yes, it had to be. I believe that memo was written expressly in order to leak Plames name, and re written for the Africa trip a month later. Senator Roberts figures in heavily on that count. If Fitzgerald was not interested in asking Miller about the memo, I would have to agree with her hilariously disingenuous statement: no one has any idea what Fitzgerald is up to. Perhaps he is after the Clintons????

    Re: Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#5)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:43 PM EST
    Reporter, source, cheerleader, martyr: Judy Miller has played them all. That book deal translates to 85 days in jail at twelve thousand dollars a day. Oy. WHY, JUDY, WHY?

    Re: Judith Miller Talks to Lou Dobbs (none / 0) (#6)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:44 PM EST
    Judith Miller, the very definition of the term "media ho". She really is a joke. After watching this fawning sycophants interview, it's not surprising that she became the pseudo journalistic voice of the Bush administration. If she's the face of modern journalism at the New York Times, the independent free Press is doomed. What a sham that she's being passed off as some kind of martyr for journalists when what she really did was sold her journalistic integrity to the Bush administration. She makes me ill.